We talk about trades ourselves, now we see what the Lakers think about them.
L.A. Times: It’s a time period the Lakers and many of their fans don’t like to revisit. The 2004 NBA Finals, you know, the one where the Detroit Pistons upset the Lakers and denied them their fourth consecutive championship.
But Coach Phil Jackson brought up that season in context with the latest trading deadline. After Rasheed Wallacewas traded to the Atlanta Hawks from the Portland Trail Blazers, the Pistons acquired the current Boston Celtics forward in a three-team trade involving Boston and Atlanta. The effect was felt instantly that season, resulting in an NBA championship.
Jackson didn’t see any of the trades this past week bearing the same magnitude. And the Lakers made no moves before the deadline, meaning they’ll look to defend their NBA championship with nearly the same roster as last season’s, with exception to the essentially off-season swap withTrevor Ariza to Houston and Ron Artest to L.A. Nonetheless, Jackson still kept an eye on specific moves from the perspective on how it could affect the Lakers in the postseason.
Jackson seconded the viewpoint of General Manager Mitch Kupchak, who recently told The Times’ Mike Bresnahan that Dallas’ acquisition of Washington forward Caron Butler and center Brendan Haywood will be significant. The Clippers trade involving shipping defensive specialist Marcus Camby to Portland also caught Jackson’s eye because the Trail Blazers (32-15) are slated to face the top-seeded Lakers (42-14) in the first round of the playoffs.
But there was one trade Jackson initially refused to discuss, that one involving Cleveland’s acquisitionof forward Antawn Jamison from Washington for center Zydrunas Ilgauskas. A little bit of prodding revealed Jackson’s true feelings.
“I don’t know what that does for them to tell you the truth,” Jackson said. “They’re going to get Ilgauskas back and it’s going to be one of those scenarios we see in the NBA where you ship a player out, then you get another player, then that player retires and they pay him off. Then he comes back in 30 days. I don’t know what that does for the league. I think it’s kind of a weird situation.”